Laser Tattoo Removal – What you should know

Reviewed by Dr. Hun Kim Thao

Tattoos are no stranger to young people. Getting a tattoo seems like fun and is easy to do but removing them is no simple task. Many devices and methods are available for tattoo removal but they may involve risks.

The good news is that the US FDA and the EU CE have reviewed and approved some lasers as safe and qualified for tattoo removal.

Laser tattoo removal at Grace Skincare Clinic

Removing tattoos with older technologies can be difficult and can cause scarring. The newer and more advanced laser equipment is safer, more effective, and less painful. To ensure you get proper treatment and care, find a reputable dermatologist or clinic that specializes in tattoo removal and ask about their staff experience and their equipment.

In medicine, a tattoo is a patch of artificial melanin, as the tattoo artist uses needles to apply ink deep into the dermis. A tattoo may exist permanently on the body, and most conventional tattoo removal methods can cause permanent scars and further pigmentation problems. At Grace Skincare Clinic, we use the most advanced and sophisticated technology from Israel, the Alma Q certified by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the European Union CE. We provide effective and safe solutions for tattoo removal.

At Grace Skincare Clinic, the Doctor will first evaluate your tattoo based on ink color, shallowness, depth, location, size, and length of time you have had the tattoo for advice on appropriate treatment and therapy process.

Multi-colored tattoo removal requires a sophisticated laser with an energy level high enough to absorb the colors in the color spectrum. This makes the Q-switched Nd: YAG 1064nm laser the perfect choice to treat dark tattoo ink colors such as black, green, dark blue, while also using the 532nm wavelength to effectively remove brighter ink colors such as red, yellow, or orange.

The Alma Q treatment effectively breaks the tattoo ink into tiny particles that are absorbed and washed away by the body’s natural mechanisms. The Alma Q high energy, low heat technologies reduce the risk of scarring and causing further hypopigmentation.

alma q laser
The US FDA has approved several laser devices for safe tattoo removal. The Alma Q laser used at Grace Skincare Clinic is certified by both the US FDA and European Union CE specifically for tattoo removal

The Alma-Q laser technology is considered the best treatment technology today for the following reasons:

  • Alma Q laser can target the most fastidious ink colors such as green, blue, celestial without causing scars or hypopigmentation post-treatment.
  • Almost no downtime, anesthesia is not required.
  • The result after several sessions will generate clear, ink-free skin with minimal risk of scarring or hypo-pigmentation.
  • Works for many skin types.
  • The Alma Q is a clinically tested and proven laser system that uses various laser wavelengths to target different ink colors.
  • It has the lowest pain profile for tattoo removal for any of the laser systems available today.

However, before you decide upon laser tattoo removal, make sure you are aware of the following.

Before and after photos: how important are they?

Unlike many skincare facilities, Grace Skincare Clinic does not provide before and after photos for clients who are considering treatment. There are several practical reasons.

Firstly, we always honor our client’s confidentiality. Secondly, before and after photos are not helpful because they will not represent your experience with tattoo removal. Most photos are from a public database and are not actual clients who have been treated at that facility.

But more important is that every person’s tattoo and tattoo removal experience is different based on a variety of factors, so before and after photos will not guarantee that your tattoo removal results will be the same as the photos.

How does laser tattoo removal work?

Lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors with a high-intensity light beam. Each pigment color absorbs a different wavelength and will be broken down into small pieces. Over time, the body’s lymphatic system disposes of the ink fragments.

Black and dark tattoo pigments absorb all laser wavelengths, making them the easiest colors to treat. Other colors, especially lighter colors can only be treated by selected lasers based upon the pigment color.

Pain and scarring

There are several unsafe tattoo removal technologies such as excision and dermabrasion. The use of older laser equipment can leave scars and cause serious and painful skin damage. Additionally, tattoo removal using low-quality lasers can be dangerous and can damage your skin.

We always advise to only use US FDA and EU CE certified equipment that have undergone numerous reliability and safety tests and meet the highest standards.

remove tatoo
There are several unsafe tattoo removal technologies such as excision and dermabrasion

The removal of permanent tattoos may not be as easy as you imagined. Many factors such as the age of the tattoo, your skin type, the size of your tattoo, the ink colors, your genetic predispositions, and the type of ink used for your tattoo will impact the effectiveness of removal. Depending on the color, one laser or a combination of different types of lasers may be required.

Please note that tattoo ink is not regulated. Manufacturers are not required to reveal their ingredients or conduct trials. Inks may be made from iron oxides (rust), metal salts, or plastics. Homemade or traditional tattoo inks may be made from pen ink, soot, dirt, blood, or other ingredients. Some links may be more difficult to remove than others. This always creates a level of difficulty for tattoo removal.

laser tattoo removal
Laser tattoo removal consultation with the dermatologist

Tattoo removal will take multiple treatments. Additionally, the interval between treatments should be long enough to allow the “blasted” ink to be absorbed into the body. The cost of a full treatment course could be quite expensive, and it will require your dedication and commitment over a long period of time.

Post-treatment reaction

You may experience negative reactions after treatment including swelling, redness, bleeding, and temporary hyperpigmentation. These are common and immediate skin reactions, but they are temporary and should be gone within a few weeks. However, ask your dermatologist if you are worried about it.

Potential side effects of tattoo removal

You may experience negative reactions after treatment including swelling, redness, bleeding, or temporary hyperpigmentation. These are common and immediate skin reactions, but they should be gone within a few weeks. However, ask your dermatologist if you are worried about it.

side effect of laser removal
Laser tattoo removal has potential side effects

Darker skin tones stand a higher risk of hypopigmentation

People with darker skin tone can have tattoos removed with lasers but there is a higher risk of hypo-pigmentation. This is because lasers can also remove pigments in your skin along with the pigments from your tattoo. This condition should resolve itself, but it can take up to a year. Therefore, Dermatologists must always pay careful attention to make sure the risk of skin damage is minimized.

tattoo removal
Dermatologists must always pay careful attention to make sure the risk of skin damage is minimized

The importance of the laser tattoo removal technician

A laser is a highly complex technical tool used by a dermatologist. It is not a miracle machine. There are numerous technical aspects to operating a laser, so only an experienced dermatologist with training and expertise in operating lasers and with a deep understanding of skin and skin types should perform your treatment. A Dermatologist will establish treatment protocols that include setting appropriate energy and duration of the laser pulse, the type of pulse, the depth of the laser, and the number of pulses to apply to your skin.

alma laser tattoo removal
An experienced and skilled laser operator is very important for safe and effective treatment

A well-trained and experienced dermatologist will adjust and refine the protocol as they observe how the skin reacts during treatment. We find that every client has variations in how their skin reacts to treatments. Even the same client will have variations in how their skin reacts from one visit to the next. So, a professional and experienced Dermatologist will observe and adjust protocols to ensure the best results and to minimize side effects, and avoid potential damage to the skin.

If you are planning to remove tattoos in Ho Chi Minh city or if you are concerned about your tattoos and need sound advice, please feel free to contact us.

Contact Us

Grace Skincare Clinic
An international cosmetic dermatology clinic in Vietnam using FDA and CE-approved medical devices and treatments.

Mayfair Suites, 102ABC Cong Quynh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Book your appointment:
Tel: 0822-531-223
Hotline: 0961-796-809


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